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S$200,000 scam attempt foiled by alert staff of Maybank

Police stated on Monday (8 August) that an attempt to scam a 72-year-old was foiled by a staff of Maybank.

Police said that Ms Doreen Ong and Ms Christine Ting, who work at the bank's People's Park Centre branch, was requested by an elderly woman to transfer a sum of S$200,000 to help a friend facing problems with foreign immigration on 2 August at around 12.57 pm.

The staffs sensed something was amiss, and therefore, they immediately sought assistance from the police.

The Commercial Affairs Department and Central Division of Singapore Police Force confirmed the scam and had conducted further investigation on the matter.

It found out that the victim had been communicating with the unknown suspect via Facebook and WhatsApp for more than five years. She had transferred as much as S$75,000 on two previous occasions.

The press release said that the police managed to engage with the victim and finally managed to convince her that the request for monetary assistance was a scam and she did not make any further funds transfer thereafter.

The police investigations are still ongoing.

There has been a hike in a scam number in the country. Between March and June, police has received more than 3,000 calls and reports. The 155 victims have lost more than S$12 million during this period of time.

The police alerted the members of public to take these steps to avoid falling into the scams :

  • Ignore the calls. Scammers may use Caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. Calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore. If you receive a suspicious call from a local number, hang up, wait five minutes, then call the number back to check the validity of the request.
  • Ignore instructions to remit or transfer money. No government agency will inform you to make a payment through a telephone call, especially to a third party's bank account.
  • Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on the website or over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as internet bank account usernames and passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals.
  • Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.

If you have information related to such crime or if you are in doubt, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or dial 999 for urgent Police assistance.